Sermon Illustrations


A nature lover was once walking through the countryside when he came upon a farm. He walked up to the fence and looked into the barnyard. He saw lots of chickens and geese and other farm animals wandering and scratching about. Then he noticed one bird that didn’t fit. He looked more closely and, oddly enough, saw that it was a young eagle, the king of all birds.

So the nature lover climbed the fence, walked into the barnyard, found the farmer, and said, "Sir, I am a nature lover. Do you realize what kind of bird you have here?"

The farmer answered, "Why, yes I do. That’s an eagle."

The nature lover replied, "But ...but why is this eagle, the king of all birds, scratching around on the ground with chickens, eating and acting like a chicken? Why?"

The farmer said, "When this bird was very young, its mother abandoned it and it grew up in the barnyard, and I just treated it like a chicken. That eagle thinks it’s a chicken."

"Well, that’s terrible!" the nature lover said. "This is an eagle, the king of all birds. It should be soaring, not groveling about on the ground with these chickens! Do you mind, sir, if I take this young eagle and try to convince him of his destiny?"

"Sure," said the farmer. "I don’t care what you do with him. He doesn’t lay eggs, so he’s not helping me any here."

So the nature lover grabbed the young eagle, walked into the center of the barnyard, held him up against the sky, and said to the bird, "You are an eagle, the king of all birds. Stretch forth your wings and fly!"

And at that moment, he threw the young bird up into the sky. The bird went up ...then he came back down and immediately started flopping and fluttering around on the ground, eating and acting like a chicken.

The farmer, who was watching, said, "I told you! That eagle thinks he’s a chicken!"

The nature lover, undaunted, asked permission to take the young eagle up to the top of the barn. "OK," said the farmer. "Do what you want."

So up to the top of the barn the nature lover climbed with the confused bird under his arm. Once they had reached the very rooftop, the nature lover held up the bird against the wind and said again, "You are an eagle, the king of all birds. Stretch forth your wings and fly!"

With that, he threw...

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